The Crossroads Left of Center
"I stood there at The Crossroads, at the center. I could feel it, right? That feeling you get when you know you are at the crux of something important. And for a minute there, just a minute, mind; I felt like I was a hundred feet tall, or maybe one of those winged demon-things of Anduriel, looking down upon it all. And I could see it, you know? I could see the Roads, stretching on Forever. I could see the remains of The Last Bastion, and the ruins of what's now Riverton. A flyspeck of its former glory, right? Plus the strongholds of the Races, man! There they were for me to see; something us mere Humans never get a glimpse of. The civilizations that have come and gone and the sounds, man! The sound that each empty building and old battlefield made. They all had a story to tell me. They all had something to say...
What did that bartender-guy call it? Four-Eye Monongahela? Yeah, I got to get me some more of that shit, right enough."
-The Reverend Philip Dirtbox, 2005
- Other Places to See at The Crossroads
The Tavern at The Crossroads
At the intersection of The Great Northern Road and The Trading Road there is a raised spot on the South-East quadrant. On it sits the remains of what was once a great military Keep and complex of buildings. There are only two going concerns there now; The Imperial Post Station and The Crossroads Tavern. The Post Station occupies about five buildings on the perimeter of the old Keep, consisting of an office, stable, barracks, and storerooms. There is also a corral with a dozen horses in it. The post is the last, westernmost bastion of what used to be a massive post-rider system between Marrachek and The Jewel Cities to the West. There are a mere 10 post-riders left here and only one of them has ever been to The Silver City. None of them have ever been to The Jewels. The Riders here do what they were chartered and Bound to do; patrol the Roads one days ride in every direction and maintain horses for any Messengers who might come through. They have done this for generations. The Tavern has taken over what's left of the old Keeps tower. It has a total of seven stories (5 above and 2 below) and Rilgar, his wife Mora, and their three children keep the place open for any travelers who come along. This consists mostly of Dwarves (from the North-East) and Gnomes (from the South). The occasional Traveler or Woodland Denizen will stop in from time to time. The Tavern is Neutral Ground and no one will start a fight there.
There is a lot of Forest Primeval to the East of Riverton and The City. As a matter of fact, unless otherwise noted, everything to the East of The Great Northern Road up to The Cliffs is forest. This is a forest that knows not the touch of an axe, this is a forest that has no rivals, this is a Fangorn-style forest on a massive scale. It may allow things to live in it, but don't get any ideas.
The High-Desert Wastes
To the North and West of Riverton and The City lie the High-Desert Wastelands. These are more along the lines of scrub-tundra than actual desert. It consists almost entirely of rocky outcrops, interspersed with rough sand and stones. In parts of these Badlands the weather-blasted remains of buildings and small cities can still be seen, poking out of the sand and shale. There is a line of hills to the South and East of it that marks its boundaries. Lots of odd things wander out of the High-Desert, if they are fast enough and mean enough to get past the the giant scorpions and other fauna that inhabit the place. Especially the passes through the Barrier Mountains.
Several days travel to the East of Riverton and The City, past The Crossroads, are The Cliffs. As the name implies, this cliff-face is just slightly over 100 feet lower in the West and runs roughly North to South. It juts starkly out of The Great Forest and very little grows on its sheer face. A skilled person might be able to free-climb it, but by no means would it be easy. There is usually a line of heavy clouds following The Cliffs. At the spot where The Cliffs encounter The Great Trading Road there is a pass cut through the rock face and the road rises at about a 20 degree grade. Just near the top is the entrance to a large cave complex.
Many days travel to the North, between the last hills of the High-Desert and the Great River is the enigmatic and hard to find spaceport. For reasons no one can remember it is known by many races as The Lux. The Lux is an enormous, spread-out set of structures; occupying several dozen square miles. It consists of hangers, garages, terminals, warehouses, even a complex shopping mall. There are also a number of spacecraft sitting on the ground here. This is a high-tech complex and few, if any, can comprehend how things work. Despite this fact, power and utilities still function and a great many people live here. The Red Shift Bar is in the spaceport concourse.